Merrill Spanfelner

Obituary of Merrill G. Spanfelner

HERKIMER - Mr. Merrill G. Spanfelner, 96, a lifelong Herkimer resident, affectionately known as “Mert” and “Spanny”, passed away peacefully, on Monday, December 27, 2021, at the MVHS, Faxton-St. Luke’s Campus, Town of New Hartford, with the love and support of his family by his side. Born in Herkimer, NY, on August 15, 1925, (first male born at Herkimer Hospital), Merrill was the son of the late George and Helen (Mahoney) Spanfelner. Raised and educated locally, he was a St. Francis de Sales and Herkimer High School graduate. While at St. Francis, he was a choral member and altar server. In high school, he played football, namely left end and what an accomplishment it was to be a part of the 1942 undefeated team! In October of 1943, he was drafted and served our country during World War II, in the US Navy, as an Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class, in the Amphibious Forces. He oversaw gyro compasses on ships. His honorable discharge was granted in June of 1946. He earned the following decorations: Victory Medal, Pacific Theater Ribbon, American Theater Ribbon and Philippine Liberation Ribbon. In 1948, he began working with the New York Telephone Company and retired in 1988 after working for forty years as a lineman. On May 19, 1951, he was married to Shirley Moose, the love of his life, at St. Francis de Sales Church, Herkimer, by Rev. Anthony Crucetti, a 63 year union built on love, support and mutual respect. She passed away April 18, 2015. Mert's greatest joy was caring for his family and his home. His wife, children and grandchildren were the center of his heart and they motivated his soul. He always put his family first and took the time to show love, kindness, be present and teach important life lessons. In his earlier years, he enjoyed being at the family camp on 7th Lake and camping at Fish Creek Pond. Summertime fun around the pool with his family was special, often hosting get-togethers. He enjoyed socializing, connecting with others and speaking with Veterans. He just loved to be out and about in the community and his support of local business was admirable. Mert had a sense of humor and some of his hobbies included: gardening, coin collecting and bird watching. He was a member of St. Francis de Sales Church, Herkimer, as well as the Mohawk American Legion Post #25, the CWA Union and the Telephone Pioneers of America. He is survived by his children, Deborah (Sykes) Ruiz (Buenaventura Ruiz), Gary Spanfelner (Patricia) and Rebecca Spanfelner; his cherished grandchildren, Tricia, Mary, Heather (Zach) Bellinger and Samantha Spanfelner; great-grandchildren, James, Leonardo, Edith and Hazley; brother, Joseph Spanfelner (Cornelia); and many nieces (a special niece, Julie Spanfelner), nephews and cousins; and sister-in-law, Mary Jane Spanfelner. He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley; his parents, George and Helen; and brothers, Lynn and James. While receiving care at Masonic Care Community he enjoyed meeting other residents and their families. The family would like to extend heartfelt gratitude and thank home care giver Ferida Grahovic, the Slocum Dickson Ilion office, the Masonic Care Community Health Pavilion, Dr. McCormick, Jay Snow and the Brooklyn household at Masonic for the kindness, care and compassion given to Merrill. Family and friends may pay their respects, on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, from 4:00-6:00 PM, at the Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home, 4309 Acme Rd., Ilion, NY (Town of Frankfort) 315-894-8000. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at 9:15 AM, at the funeral home, with prayer, thence procession to St. Francis de Sales Church, in Herkimer, where at 10:00 AM a Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated. Interment will take place at a date, spring 2022, at Calvary Cemetery, Herkimer, with full military honors. The family is being cared for by Harry J. and Kevin E. Enea and Martin L. Ciaccia, Funeral Directors. To add to online condolences, please visit We love you Dad.
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Calling Hours

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home
4309 Acme Road
Ilion, New York, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Thursday, January 6, 2022
St Francis De Sales Church
219 N. Bellinger St
Herkimer, New York, United States
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